Financial Fraud and Theft: How to Protect Yourself 

There are many different ways your personal and financial information can be stolen electronically. However, there are precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft. Use these simple tips to develop a safer virtual environment for what matters most to you.

Online or Mobile Security

  • Never respond to a phone call or email that requests you update or provide your personal or account information. USB will NEVER ask you to provide personal or account information over the phone or by email. If you receive a phone call or email requesting this type of information, even if the call or email looks like it came from your financial institution, immediately disconnect and contact your local branch.
  • If banking online or from your mobile device, always log out of your account completely when you are done.
  • Only access your bank account from a computer or device you trust, and NEVER use public WIFI to log in to your bank account.
  • Install anti-malware software on the computer or mobile device you use to access your financial information and consider the use of a personal firewall.
  • Change your wireless networking password often.

Passwords & PINs

  • Never share your password or PIN with anyone.
  • Never write your password or PIN down where it can be easily found by others.
  • When creating your password, do not use information that can be easily linked to you or found on social media, including your birthday, your anniversary, your pet’s name, your favorite sports team, etc.
  • Use passwords that contain more than just letters. Try adding numbers and characters into the mix.
  • Never use the same password more than once. Each account you have should be set up with a different password.
  • Change your password and PIN often. The Federal Trade Commission recommends updating passwords every 30 days.

Smart Online Shopping

  • When making a purchase online, always look for a URL that begins with https://. This means the site is legitimate and secure.
  • Verify the URL of the website you are attempting to make a purchase on to ensure it is not a “copycat” website waiting to collect your financial information.
  • If using your debit card, only make online purchases with businesses you trust. If you have to make a purchase with a new business, use a credit card instead.

To protect yourself against an array of scams, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information website at


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